Since time immemorial this folk tale has been handed down by word of mouth, and it is still told with great relish in Japan today. __________
Claus Stamm heard it there and liked it so much that he decided to retell it in English. He has preserved all the robust humor of the original and added a good dash of his own wit. The fine drawings add the finishing touch of spice,
Wrestlers have always been especially esteemed in Japan, and Forever-Mountain was more than a little conceited about his ability and strength.
One wintry day as he strode along on his way to wrestle before the Emperor, he was humming a pleased-with-himself little tune when suddenly a young girl appeared before him.
She was "jolly and bounceful" and she was called Maru-me. That chance meeting changed the course of Forever-Mountain's life, for the girl, her mother, and her grandmother were the three strong women-and wrestlers too!
The twist of the tale's climax is quit unexpected and delightful.